Nature Documentaries take you out of the theatre (or your living room, wherever you happen to be watching!) and transport you to an entirely different world. You might end up in the ocean or the desert, at the Arctic or the plains. I love a nature documentary that really explains something to me; I want to learn something that I didn't know before and understand why an animal does what it does, or why something occurs only in a certain area. I've found some of the best documentaries about nature that I'd love to share with you, and I want to hear about your favorites, too!
1. Blue Planet
Blue Planet is actually a series of nature documentaries, and as such, it's a deeply comprehensive look at the world around us. It highlights the sea life of many animals, including those that hadn't been examined before this documentary. Of course, you'll have to deal with some detailed discussions about sperm whales.
There was no way I could skip this nature documentary. Funnily enough, watching Roseanne years ago alerted me to its presence. Cinemax has nothing on this movie, which shows in glorious detail the mating habits of some very amorous insects.
3. The Cove
The Cove is one of the most amazing nature documentaries I've ever seen. It's an Academy Award winner, and if you've seen it, you know why. It, too, primarily features animals – specifically, it focuses on the secretive dolphin hunts that take place in Tajii, Japan. I'm a dolphin lover from birth, so this one really hit home to me.
4. Planet Earth
Planet Earth is another series of documentaries about nature. It, too, is incredibly detailed, primarily focusing on many of Earth's ecosystems, how they've changed, and how they might change in the future. This one pulls no punches, in that it also highlights the effect humans have on the world around us.
There are many nature documentaries that talk about oil – after all, it's Earth's most precious resource. However, this is one of the best examples I've ever seen. It's terrifying, but it brings up several good points, even if you don't agree with Michael Ruppert.
6. March of the Penguins
March of the Penguins might well be the most popular nature documentary ever. I've yet to meet anyone who didn't watch this and get at least a little teary eyed. It instantly brought penguins to the height of popularity. Who knew that watching penguins do their thing could be so interesting, let alone so moving?
You can't discuss nature documentaries without talking about Carl Sagan's Cosmos. There's no way. Now, I know this deals more with astronomy, but even still, it's a pivotal and extremely revolutionary series of documentaries. It's so incredibly detailed, you'll walk away from it knowing much, much more than you did before.
I'm kind of cheating here, since Earth is basically the feature length version of Planet Earth, but to me there are enough differences to justify including both versions. The photography in this film is absolutely breathtaking, and as with both the original and March of the Penguins, it shows just how interesting it can be to watch a nature documentary featuring the daily lives of different animals.
When you watch nature documentaries, you can learn so much. As you can see, some of the most touching, heartfelt movies have been documentaries based around certain animals or locations. They're great for kids and adults, so you might think about incorporating some of these in your family movie night! Now, why don't you describe some of your favorite documentaries about nature?
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